Friday, August 28, 2020

Wood by A.E. Via Blog Tour

This isn't a romance about billionaires, movie stars, or models. This is a story of two ordinary, working-class men, dealing with life’s real problems, and trying to find love along the way.

It’s been a long seventeen years but Herschel Wood Jr. is finally a free man and he’s looking forward to reconnecting with his old cellmate, Bishop Stockley, who promised him a place to stay and some help getting back on his feet. Wood had a good life once upon time when he’d owned one of the most successful tattoo shops on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront – until a fatal accident that was his fault cost him everything.

Now at forty-six years old, all Wood wants is to work in another shop on the beach and find a mature, easygoing man to settle down with. But when he gets to his new place and finds he has to share the small trailer with Bishop’s childhood friend, he wasn’t expecting a sexy, smart-mouthed brat that enjoys pushing a man to his limits.

Wood pressed in tight until there was only misunderstanding between them, his mouth mere inches from Trent’s parted lips. “You wanted to get a reaction out of me you annoying, immature little shit… now you’ve got one.”

Trent Armstrong has never been considered a catch. He’s a twenty-nine year old laborer, an ex-con, and not the easiest person to get along with. He’s used to being the one people cast to the side when they're done with him. Everyone he’s ever cared about has walked out of his life without a backward glance, so he’s used to the loneliness. His foul mouth and quick temper are a great defense mechanism and an easy way to hide his hurt.

From the moment the tattooed, silver-haired man walked into the house there had been nothing but tension, side-eyeing, and sparks between them. Trent has always held back a side of himself that he’s terrified to explore, and without warning Wood’s voice, his maturity, that maddening scent, and even his damaged past all trigger feelings that Trent thought he’d buried deep long ago.

Trent went completely still when Wood dragged his nose over his forehead and down the side of his face. His voice was shaky, and his breaths were hot and swift along Wood’s throat. “What the hell are you doing?”
“I’m doing what you want me to do.” Wood whispered. “I’m playing your bullshit game, Trent.”

The True Lover's Stories are connected standalones. Each title features a different couple but will contain previously mentioned characters.
No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. Ends with a HEA.
Note: This is a steaming agnsty, age gap, new-to-love romance.

Trigger Warning: AA Recovery

Don’t miss book one in the True Lover’s Stories series, Bishop. For reviews & more info, click HERE.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~ Also Available with KindleUnlimited ~

“Are you fucking crazy?” Trent hissed through clenched teeth, but the nerve he’d had behind his earlier words were gone, now replaced with caution… and lust.

“I asked you politely not to call me that. Now, I’m telling you. Don’t. Do it. My name is Herschel Wood, Jr. No middle name. You can call me Herschel, or Wood, that’s it. I would’ve told you that if you’d bothered to ask.” Wood fumed. He had his forearm across Trent’s chest, pushing his back into the closet door at the end of the dark hallway. He couldn’t believe what he was doing, but how dare Trent drive him to the edge like this? Wood pressed in so tight until there was only air and misunderstanding between them, his mouth mere inches from Trent’s parted lips. “You wanted to get a reaction out of me, you annoying, immature little shit… now you’ve got one.”

Trent’s eyes blazed as he tried to shove off the door, but Wood held him in check with his mass. “Fuck you.” Trent grunted, his hot gaze lasered on Wood’s lips.

Wood gave him a smirk and enjoyed as Trent squirmed even more against him. “You think I don’t know the game you’re playing? Maybe no one else does—even though I taught Bishop better—but I can see right through your transparent ass, Trent. So damn clearly.”

Trent’s masked desires were obvious—Wood had seen it the moment he’d laid eyes on him. He knew he hadn’t been wrong. But he’d wanted to leave Trent off-limits. Bishop just wanted them to be friends, but Wood was afraid he was finally going to have to tell his buddy that it wasn’t going to happen. The four of them wouldn’t be hanging out together all the time. There was too much screwed-up shit going on with Trent, and Wood deserved some peaceful days. He didn’t have the patience to put up with crap from hesitant men anymore. He had no doubt that Trent was pushing his buttons… because he wanted Wood to push his in return.

“Wood,” Trent snarled, as he clutched tightly to his shoulders with both hands.

Wood’s answer was another cunning smile. Did Trent even realize that he wasn’t pushing Wood away, he was holding him close? Wood wouldn’t point that out just yet. If Trent wanted to have some fun with him, then fine. He’d entertain himself until it was time for him to leave. He should’ve known this setup was too good to be true. What Trent pulled on him was exactly the kind of typical mess Wood was used to. People judging and condemning him for no reason.

Trent went completely still when Wood dragged his nose over his forehead and down the side of his face. His voice was shaky, and his breaths were hot and swift along Wood’s throat. “The fuck are you doing?”

“I’m doing what you want me to do.” Wood clenched his teeth. “I’m playing your bullshit game, Trent.”

“I’m not playing anything,” he breathed.

“Oh yeah you are.” Wood released Trent suddenly, but he didn’t pull away. He leaned in until his mouth was against Trent’s ear. “But I’m about to show you I’m much better at this game than you are.” Wood slowly eased away, then cocked his head to the side, motioning to Trent’s punishing grip he still had on his shoulders. “Now let me go.”

I loved this book. Trent and Wood are so real. I felt like I was right there with them the entire book. I love Trent's snark, even when he was annoying me. Wood was just perfect in my eyes. These two together were just... perfect. I didn't want the book to end, but the ending was great. I can't wait for the next book!

3.5 stars

This is the gritty story of two ex-cons with difficult pasts who are thrown together as roommates after Wood’s release from prison. Both Wood and Trent are attempting fresh starts after complicated, messy lives. This isn’t an easy read and I’m not sure I was in the right headspace for it when I read it.

Trent and Wood are scarred men living hard lives. Both are well developed characters and their stories are entirely believable. Their emotions are intense and the romance that builds between them feels organic. There are some crazy hot sex scenes and a whole lot of delicious sexual tension between Trent and Wood. However, I tend to read romance as escapist entertainment, and I found it challenging to engage with these two very difficult men. Both of these men have enough off-putting baggage to make me pause. I’m not sure I liked either of them – though it would be difficult not to have empathy for their situations.

I have always associated A.E. Via with larger than life crime solving adventures and this is the exact opposite. It’s as realistic, slow, and gritty as the Nothing Special books are fast paced and farfetched. The actual writing is much stronger than in many of the author’s previous books, but I do miss the playfulness of the author’s earlier writing. This book took me a long time to read. The pacing is slow, and I had to take breaks from the gritty realism. For me, 2020 has already been more than a little too realistic – I can’t take too much more darkness in the books I read.

A.E. VIA has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for six years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay literature for over twenty years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great, new up and coming MM authors.

A.E. has a
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her. Writing.

novels embody everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

She’s recently celebrated her 20th book anniversary, and is well-known for her hardcore, love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.

Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date!
Go to A.E. Via’s official website for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peek at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next

Connect with A.E.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Wood (True Lover’s Stories #2) by A.E. Via to read and review for this tour.

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